Drug abuse more common and not always illegal

Published 5:36 pm Friday, October 25, 2019


Community columnist 

It is no secret that illegal drugs have been a problem in our community for many years. However, the thought occurred to me that not all addictive drugs are illegal and many are used on a daily basis. For example, alcohol is responsible for countless deaths and the destruction of families and yet can be purchased legally in our community. 

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Don’t be fooled into thinking that by making it illegal, people will not purchase it. It can be purchased from Liquor Barn or from Billy Bob the bootlegger but people will buy it regardless.

However, not all legal drugs are as immediately destructive as alcohol. Something that is extremely addictive is nicotine and is one of the most addictive substances in the world. If we are of proper age, we can walk into any grocery or convenience store in Danville and purchase these drugs without alarm. Many people don’t give nicotine the respect it deserves. 

Years ago when I used to smoke, it was always on my mind and there was no situation that would prevent me from obtaining it. That is the very definition of drug addiction. All these years later, all it would take is one draw off a cigarette to put me right back into it. 

Many times, when talking to former illegal drug users, they talk about how they were able to stop using heroin and meth but still have not been able to kick nicotine. The effects of nicotine use are not immediate and causes no issues with the law, so it seems like a good alternative to the hard drugs but it is not. Now we have teenagers walking around downtown with their fruit flavored vaping machines and not knowing that they are taking in one of the most addictive substances known to man. 

Caffeine is another drug that is addictive and is available everywhere. If you do not think that caffeine is addictive then try to take that morning cup of joe from a coffee drinker and see what happens. I don’t want to be anywhere around when you do because it will likely get violent quickly. Try to sell a hardcore coffee drinker on decaf and they will likely look at you as if you have lost your mind. The whole point of drinking the coffee is for the caffeine. 

It seems that many people fail to understand how addictive sugar is as well. How many times have you denied a child a piece of candy and had it to scream at the top of their lungs? I have never seen a child do this with vegetables. Just saying. Once they get a taste of sugar, the battle is on. Tell a child they can have something from the grocery store and it will always be something sweet. Yes, sugar is tasty and appears innocent but it is actually poison to the body and causes numerous negative effects over time and yet every time someone has a birthday or a celebration they want to push this poison on everyone with their cake and ice cream.  When you refuse to participate, we are then deemed as rude or anti-social. 

I went to McDonald’s by Walmart last weekend for a bite to eat and saw a young child there with Mountain Dew in a sippy cup in one hand and a cookie in the other. The parents seemed fine with their child consuming these drugs. I couldn’t look for long though because I was busy eating my apple pie and drinking my cup of coffee. I am so weak. 

Jack Godbey is a resident of Danville and is a published author.